1038 posts tagged with economics.
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Scrooge McDuck's Giant Pool of Money is Real

Planet Money's Adam Davidson ponders an emerging economic paradox in this week's NYT Magazine: Why are corporations hoarding trillions in cash? The cash stockpiles being held by many major corporations situation are unprecedented in size, and often vastly exceed any sum of money that these corporations could ever dream of spending. This behavior runs in direct opposition to most economic theories, violates assumptions about how rational corporations should act, and is being rewarded by the market (but only in some industries). So, what gives?
posted by schmod on Jan 23, 2016 - 77 comments

Going in a hand basket or wearing shades?

The idea that America’s best days are behind us sits in sharp tension with the high-tech optimism radiating from the offices of the technology start-ups and venture capital firms of Silicon Valley.(NYT) Robert Gordon just published a book on the end of US growth. His TED talk echos this.
posted by JiffyQ on Jan 20, 2016 - 27 comments

when the facts change...

Can Economics Change Your Mind? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 15, 2016 - 15 comments

CC: George Pelecanos

Bug Man Pete and I are out on the front porch at Hank Dietle’s Tavern, the last roadhouse in Montgomery County, watching the traffic crawl by on Rockville Pike. An exterminator by trade, he’s finished battling vermin for the day and is ready for a few cold ones. A pitcher of draft beer is on the table, and a lit Maverick cigarette is in his hand. He’s feeling good, as he usually is at Dietle’s. [He] has been coming here for almost half of his 56 years. But people like him have been coming to Dietle’s for a century. They were here when the Pike was a rural toll road. They were here when cold, cheap beers were illegal. They were here when Metro dug its tunnels underneath and when a gleaming new mall went up across the road. Now that the mall has been shuttered, they’re still here. -- Washingtonian Magazine on the Last Roadside Divebar in Suburbia.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jan 13, 2016 - 39 comments


It's Payback Time for Women - "Society is getting a free ride on our unrewarded contributions to the perpetuation of the human race." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 11, 2016 - 79 comments

The Unseen Threat of Capital Mobility

For the Wealthiest, a Private Tax System That Saves Them Billions -"The very richest are able to quietly shape tax policy that will allow them to shield billions in income." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 4, 2016 - 31 comments

Happy New Year from the manufacturers of economic inequality

Venture capitalist Paul Graham starts 2016 with an essay on Economic Inequality
Since the 1970s, economic inequality in the US has increased dramatically. And in particular, the rich have gotten a lot richer. Some worry this is a sign the country is broken. I'm interested in the topic because I am a manufacturer of economic inequality. I've become an expert on how to increase economic inequality, and I've spent the past decade working hard to do it.
[more inside]
posted by nickrussell on Jan 3, 2016 - 88 comments

Memory, Law, and Recording

Sci-Fi Author (and Metafilter's own) Charlie Stross has an interesting thought experiment: Could you get to a technological society without the use of writing? And if so, what would that look like?
posted by The Whelk on Jan 3, 2016 - 58 comments

Thomas Piketty seminar

Discussion of Piketty's book on Crooked Timber On December 7 Crooked Timber began posting a seminar on Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century. 2 responses to the book so far with 10 more to come, followed by the author's response.
posted by kingless on Dec 9, 2015 - 45 comments

When globalization comes home.

A Grim Bargain: Tax breaks, cheap land, and cheap labor make the American South attractive to foreign companies. Workers don't benefit.
posted by OmieWise on Dec 2, 2015 - 41 comments

“This station is now the ultimate power in the universe!”

It’s a Trap: Emperor Palpatine’s Poison Pill by Zachary Feinstein [.PDF]
In this paper we study the financial repercussions of the destruction of two fully armed and operational moon-sized battle stations (“Death Stars”) in a 4-year period and the dissolution of the galactic government in Star Wars. The emphasis of this work is to calibrate and simulate a model of the banking and financial systems within the galaxy. Along these lines, we measure the level of systemic risk that may have been generated by the death of Emperor Palpatine and the destruction of the second Death Star. We conclude by finding the economic resources the Rebel Alliance would need to have in reserve in order to prevent a financial crisis from gripping the galaxy through an optimally allocated banking bailout.
via: Popular Science [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Dec 2, 2015 - 38 comments

Winning the residential race

When it comes to housing, Australia and Berlin are worlds apart. In Australia, as in much of the English-speaking world, housing is treated as primarily a vehicle for investment and wealth creation, a state of affairs which began with the privately-financed speculative building of colonial times, and is firmly entrenched in the culture; 70% of Australians own their own homes, and the “Australian Dream” is still widely held to be home ownership, though these days the home may well be a trendy inner-city apartment rather than the traditional bungalow on a quarter-acre block. In Berlin, however, the vast majority of residents are renters, and they have considerable political clout, as they have had for decades. [more inside]
posted by acb on Nov 23, 2015 - 22 comments

Too many ships and/or an obsolete economic indicator?

The Baltic’s BDI index, which gauges the cost of shipping resources including iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertilizer, has dropped to 498 points and is over 95 percent down from its all-time high of 11,793 points in 2008 before the financial crisis first hurt the sector. This index can be used as an overall economic indicator as it shows where end prices are heading for items that use the raw materials that are shipped in dry bulk. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that what the index is measuring isn’t the use of those commodities, but the shipping of them. Judging by wait times at the Panama Canal, you'd think things are busy but that traffic jam seems to be easing. [more inside]
posted by karst on Nov 21, 2015 - 23 comments

Faced with gaping moral and economic holes in society

Rewrite the rules to benefit everyone, not just the wealthy - "If there's one thing Joseph Stiglitz wants to say about inequality, it's that it has been a choice, not an unexpected, unfortunate economic outcome. That's unnerving, but it also means that citizens and politicians have the opportunity to fix the problem before it gets worse." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Nov 11, 2015 - 112 comments

A Handout Is The Best Hand Up

A generation of evidence affirms cash transfers as among the most powerful means of eliminating extreme poverty in the world. Transfers of money, along with transfers of food vouchers, have seen Brazilian inequality plummet alongside the numbers of the very poor.
posted by blankdawn on Nov 9, 2015 - 46 comments

What happens when America's food banks embrace free-market economics?

Feeding America is a network of food banks that feeds more than 46 million people. In 2005, four professors at the University of Chicago helped replace their centralized distribution system with an auction-based one, allocating "shares" to each bank to bid on donated food. The Week reports on a more detailed paper describing the transition to the new system and its overall success. [via] [more inside]
posted by Rangi on Nov 4, 2015 - 21 comments

The Economics Behind Grandma's Tuna Casseroles

"All too often, cooking is explained in terms of social norms about femininity, or immigrants, or, in one recent New York Times column, the Cold War. This is all very well for sophomore sociology classes, but why does no one ever offer simple theories such as 'they liked it'; 'they thought it looked pretty like that'; or 'that was what they could afford'? Having read quite a lot of the era's cookbooks and food writing, I find these the most likely reasons for the endless parade of things molded, jellied, bemayonnaised and enbechameled."
posted by clawsoon on Nov 4, 2015 - 63 comments

Desire Modification in the Attention Economy

The Future of (Post)Capitalism - "Paul Mason shows how, from the ashes of the recent financial crisis, we have the chance to create a more socially just and sustainable global economy." (previously; via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Nov 4, 2015 - 22 comments

How do you get to Denmark?

Where do ‘good’ or pro-social institutions come from ? Why does the capacity for collective action and cooperative behaviour vary so much across the world today ? How do some populations transcend tribalism to form a civil society ? How do you “get to Denmark”?
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory on Oct 21, 2015 - 31 comments

웃 i am not here and this is not really happening.

After the triumph of OK Computer, Radiohead fell into a creative tailspin -- and frontman Thom Yorke into a nervous breakdown. Exhausted from touring, hounded by press, and jaded by copycats, he escaped into the electronica scene pioneered by Kraftwerk and Warp Records -- fertile ground, the band discovered. Trading spacey rock for apocalyptic brooding, they teased their new sound not with singles or music videos but with innovative web streaming and cryptic, dreamlike "blips" -- winterlands, flocks of cubes, eyeballs, bears. After nearly breaking up over tracklist angst, they cut the kid in half. Thus fifteen years ago today, Kid A and (later) Amnesiac debuted, a confounding mix of electronic fugue, whalesong, pulsing IDM, drunken piano, and epic jazz funeral whose insights into anxiety, political dysfunction, and climate crisis would make it one of the most revered albums of the twenty-first century. See the documentary Reflections on Kid A for interviews and live cuts, or look inside for much more. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 2, 2015 - 63 comments

BOE Governor Carney joins Xi, Pope and Musk to fight global warming

Breaking the Tragedy of the Horizon – climate change and financial stability: Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warns investors face 'huge' climate change losses - "The Financial Stability Board, an international body monitoring the global financial system that Mr Carney chairs, may recommend G20 countries make it easier for investors to compare the 'carbon intensity' of different assets." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 30, 2015 - 9 comments

♫ Ah, look at all the Corbyn people! Ah, look at all the Corbyn people!♪

Jeremy Corbyn, socialist token once chosen to broaden debate... wins Labour race!
Look at his rivals -- Burnham and Cooper and Kendall all grumble, deplore. Who are they for?
All the Corbyn people -- where do they all come from? All the Corbyn people -- where do they all belong?

Jez's agenda: Nato and Trident and railways and people's QE. Experts agree!
Chuka Umunna, right-leaning leader (and one-time Barack wannabe), pleads unity!
All the Corbyn people -- what will they all become? All the Corbyn people -- will Labour play along? [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Sep 12, 2015 - 443 comments

Jason Derulo coming to your house to thank you personally Magnus

According this latest numbers from IFPI, while the music-buying audience in the USA is still the biggest in the world, the most valuable music fans are actually the proud people of Norway. This may be due, in large part, to the fact that since 2009 piracy in Norway has plunged by 76%.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Sep 11, 2015 - 18 comments

Basic Income: How to Fix a Broken Monetary Transmission Mechanism

FINLAND: New Government Commits to a Basic Income Experiment - "The Finnish government of Juha Sipilä is considering a pilot project that would give everyone of working age a basic income."[1,2,3] (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 4, 2015 - 24 comments

Mormon breast implants and Jewish Dowries

Dateonomics: What two religions tell us about the modern dating crisis.
posted by jacquilynne on Aug 27, 2015 - 101 comments

My God, it's full of dots!

The globe of economic complexity is a beautifully trippy interactive dot-based map of $15.3 trillion or world trade, each glowing dot encoding $100 millions worth of exports (poster). It is based on the Atlas of economic complexity by Harvard University Data Visualisation Fellow Romain Vuillemot and developed by WikiGalaxy creator Owen Cornec.
posted by elgilito on Aug 27, 2015 - 10 comments

California With The Death Penalty

The nicer a place Singapore becomes, the more it is flooded with outside capital and migration. That raises the cost of land and thus rents and home prices. Imagine if I didn’t own a home and suddenly Fairfax, VA became like Beverly Hills or Palo Alto. I would have to pay more, but wouldn’t benefit much from the proximity of the movie stars or the tech titans.
The political reaction is to make Singapore an even nicer place to live, which is what you would expect from a competent government. That’s great, but in some ways it makes the underlying problem worse by attracting additional foreign capital and labor. The city becomes more Westernized and more corporate and land values rise all the more.
A simple theory of Singaporean complaints.
posted by grobstein on Aug 8, 2015 - 14 comments

Ethereum Launched

In case you missed it Ethereum announced its first developer release a week ago. What is Ethereum? According to the video it's a "planetary scale computer powered by blockchain technology." Given the breathlessness, some skepticism is in order, but what if it purports to do on the tin is true? [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Aug 7, 2015 - 57 comments

Why Your Rent Is So High and Your Pay Is So Low

Why Your Rent Is So High and Your Pay Is So Low
posted by anazgnos on Aug 6, 2015 - 112 comments

Staring down the barrel

With oil prices low and unlikely to rise, Saudi Arabia is in severe trouble, facing existential crisis by the end of the decade if the oil futures market is right. [more inside]
posted by acb on Aug 6, 2015 - 57 comments

Warren Buffet wants to give you an IUD

Warren Buffett’s Family Secretly Funded a Birth Control Revolution
Quietly, steadily, the Buffett family is funding the biggest shift in birth control in a generation. “For Warren, it’s economic. He thinks that unless women can control their fertility—and that it’s basically their right to control their fertility—that you are sort of wasting more than half of the brainpower in the United States,” DeSarno said about Buffett’s funding of reproductive health in the 2008 interview. “Well, not just the United States. Worldwide.”
posted by Room 641-A on Jul 31, 2015 - 79 comments

The Worlds Leading Seller of Hugs

Herbalife is an MLM company that its detractors believe is nothing more than a pyramid scheme. But, John Hempton manager of Bronte Capital disagrees. In a long post he sets out why "it is the stock in the portfolio I am most proud to own. It is also the stock about whose long-term prospects I am most bullish."

20,000 words of economic analysis sounds a dry read. But think again, exploring the economics of this one peculiar company is a rabbit hole of fascinating portraits on globalisation, psychology and everyday life around the world.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory on Jul 28, 2015 - 54 comments

Project Zero

The end of capitalism has begun
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jul 17, 2015 - 92 comments

After Capitalism, Humanism

Shared Prosperity, Common Wealth, National Equity and a Citizen's Dividend: Nirit Peled takes a look at social experiments in basic incomes for VPRO Tegenlicht, a Dutch public television documentary series. Starting with a German crowdfunded UBI chosen by raffle -- kind of like the opposite of Le Guin's Omelas (or Shirley Jackson's Lottery in reverse) -- the focus moves on to Albert Wenger who wants to disconnect work from income not only as automation progresses but to accelerate the process. Then it's on to Guy Standing who has conducted basic income experiments in India and Namibia (pdf) and is trying to get one off the ground in Groningen (Utrecht apparently is also a go). Finally, a stop in Alaska to ask some of its residents about their views on the state-owned Permanent Fund. This last part brings to mind the question: just what is wealth anyway? [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 2, 2015 - 7 comments

In the future, only the 1% will have squeaky voices

How and why we're running out of helium.
posted by Chrysostom on Jun 24, 2015 - 53 comments

Giant Lumbering Beasts

Since April three of the biggest movies in history have opened: Furious 7 (with a worldwide gross of 1.5 billion dollars), Age of Ultron (with a worldwide gross of 1.3 billion dollars) and Jurassic World (with a worldwide gross of half a billion after just one weekend, and heading towards a likely record). With Star Wars down the pike in December, we're looking at a record setting year for the box office, largely on the backs of franchise action/adventure films. Mark Harris writes about the new franchise film economy in Park Effects, and relatedly, Alex Pappademas considers the efforts to create a farm league of indie directors for these new billion dollar movies in Mr. DNA.
posted by codacorolla on Jun 18, 2015 - 63 comments

How to fix inequality: Squash the finance industry and redistribute more

Joe Stiglitz on Inequality, Wealth, and Growth: Why Capitalism is Failing (video; if you don't have 30m, skip to 20m for discussion of political inequality, wealth, credit and monetary policy) - "If the very rich can use their position to get higher returns, more investment information, more extraction of rents, and if the very rich have equal or higher savings rates, then wealth will become more concentrated... economic inequality inevitably gets translated into political inequality, and political inequality gets translated into more economic inequality. The basic and really important idea here is that markets don't exist in a vacuum, that market economies operate according to certain rules, certain regulations that specify how they work. And those effect the efficiency of those markets, but they also effect how the fruits of the benefits of those markets are distributed and the result of that is there are large numbers of aspects of our basic economic framework that in recent years have worked to increase the inequality of wealth and income in our society... leading to a society which can be better described, increasingly, as an inherited plutocracy." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 2, 2015 - 27 comments

Less Marc Jacobs More Jane Jacobs

Why is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in NYC full of shuttered storefronts?
posted by The Whelk on May 29, 2015 - 140 comments

HSBC: The world has no policy tools left in face of possible recession

"The world authorities have run out of ammunition as rates remain stuck at zero. They have no margin for error as economy falters" (Telegraph) [more inside]
posted by cotton dress sock on May 25, 2015 - 63 comments

Dead Malls Make Excellent ReEducation Camps

"To spell out the law of the land in the dead language of your time: on a Letterman Top Ten list of this situation, we are all number one, and you are numbers two through ten. The fleek have inherited the earth." -- A Millennial Revenge Fantasy ( The Hairpin)
posted by The Whelk on May 14, 2015 - 134 comments

Her legacy is rooted in resisting the foundation of American capitalism.

Keep Harriet Tubman – and all women – off the $20 bill. "Harriet Tubman did not fight for capitalism, free trade, or competitive markets." [more inside]
posted by NoraReed on May 14, 2015 - 66 comments

America's Teachers are Underpaid? Surprise, surprise.

The top 25 hedge fund managers earn more than all kindergarten teachers in U.S. combined. "'Last year turned out to be the worst one for this elite group of investors since the stock market meltdown of 2008,' Institutional Investors' Stephen Taub writes, adding, 'How bad was it?' apparently without irony." [more inside]
posted by ourt on May 13, 2015 - 82 comments

Marie Kondo, Tidying, and Behavioral Economics

In The Atlantic, economist Bourree Lam looks at how Marie Kondo's bestselling tidying book reflects the principles of behavioral economics. Marie Kondo previously on Metafilter. AskMe collects great advice from members on how to do KonMari.
posted by matildaben on May 13, 2015 - 42 comments

China announces it is scoring its citizens using big data

China rates its own citizens - including online behaviour: "The Chinese government is currently implementing a nationwide electronic system, called the Social Credit System, attributing to each of its 1,3 billion citizens a score for his or her behavior. The system will be based on various criteria, ranging from financial credibility and criminal record to social media behavior. From 2020 onwards each adult citizen should, besides his identity card, have such a credit code." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 5, 2015 - 77 comments

Short-Termism, Secular Stagnation and Political Decay

Foundation: Public Goods and Options for the Bottom Billions - "Human beings just don't handle the very long run well" and that's where government increasingly comes in... (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 23, 2015 - 6 comments

Dólar Blue

Inside Argentina's Blue Dollar Market. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 23, 2015 - 7 comments

India's Experiment in Basic Income Grants

12 minute video on India’s Experiment in Basic Income Grants "cash transfers given to all citizens to ensure that they have a minimal income". [more inside]
posted by TheophileEscargot on Apr 3, 2015 - 51 comments

(Financial) Literacy by the people, for the people

Literacy education is not a de facto instrument of personal and economic liberation. The dark side of literacy is social control. Reading can only promote genuine inclusion when people are allowed to engage freely with text on their own terms, and that is not a given. The goodness of literacy ... “depends in part on whether it is used as an instrument of conformity or of creativity.”
Martha Poon and Helaine Olen use the history of traditional literacy to look critically at the notion of financial literacy [PDF, 13 pages], and how hard it is to “teach our way out of population-wide financial failure.” [more inside]
posted by Banknote of the year on Apr 3, 2015 - 19 comments

The Case Against Credentialism

The connection between education and occupation is now so firmly ingrained as to seem almost a fact of nature. To get a good job, you get a diploma: at once time a high school diploma stuffed, and then a B.A., but now you're better off with a J.D. or an M.B.A...Yet this familiar system, far from evolving “naturally” or “unconsciously,” is the product of distinct cultural changes in American history. The process that left it in our landscape is less like the slow raising of a mountain range or the growth of oxbows on the Mississippi, and more like the construction of a dam. Three changes, which took place in the past hundred years, produced the system that is now producing M.B.A.s. They were the conversion of jobs into “professions,” the scientific measurement of intelligence, and the use of government power to “channel” people toward certain occupations. James Fallows explains in a 1985 article in The Atlantic. (See also William James 80 years prior on The Ph.D. Octopus).
posted by shivohum on Mar 15, 2015 - 19 comments

Role-playing games and political economy in Brazil

A short history of gaming in Brazil: "To understand the history of gaming in Brazil dear reader, you must know a little bit about our political and economic history ... In 1991, a small publisher by the name of GSA published a roleplaying game called Tagmar [translation], often lauded as the first Brazilian RPG. ... They also released Desafio dos Bandeirantes, a game set in 17th century colonial Brazil using regional folklore instead of European myths, and a sci-fi game, Millenia [translation] ... In February 1994, the Brazilian authorities set in motion a major economic plan that invigorated the Brazilian economy for the first time since 1973. By March, the currency stabilized enough to assure the population (and companies) that their money would be worth the same by the end of the week ... The happy result for gamers was that companies started buying game licenses right and left." Via. See also History of Brazilian RPGs, History of Brazilian RPG magazines, Role-playing games in education in Brazil: how we do it [PDF], and President Cardoso reflects on Brazil and sociology.
posted by Monsieur Caution on Mar 13, 2015 - 4 comments

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